Friday, March 12, 2010

Reverend's Reviews: Mother Lode

Most gay men have what we might politely describe as "unique" relationships with our mothers. For some of us, dear old Mom is our biggest fan, while others of us would say Christina Crawford had it easy!

Mother, a new film by the extraordinary, Korean writer-director Bong Joon-ho (whose last production was the great giant-monster-on-the-loose thriller The Host), has its own unique take on the love of a mother for her son. It opens today in LA and NYC courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Drawing inspiration from equal parts Oedipus Rex and Alfred Hitchcock, Bong weaves an engrossing murder-mystery.

Do-joon (Won Bin) is an immature young man who townspeople frequently refer to as "retarded." At the age of 27, he still lives with — and sleeps with — his doting mother (Kim Hye-ja, who gives a great, award-worthy performance). When a local high school student is murdered and Do-joon becomes the #1 suspect, his mother's protective instincts kick into high gear in an effort to prove him innocent.

There are twists, turns and revelations galore in this well-written, beautifully-shot movie. It also features a fine, suspenseful music score by Lee Byeong-woo that includes appropriate nods to Hitchcock's favorite composer, Bernard Herrmann. Mother will likely receive a gradual, national release, so watch for it. Just think twice about taking your mother to see it if it plays your town!

UPDATE: Mother is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.

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